I am one of those that have said 'I never thought I could draw like that' or draw 'realistically'. And I walked away from Ray's workshop saying "wow I did that"! When you are given the right books, or watch the right tutorials or even given the right guidance such as from a master of their craft at a workshop, it is those simple tips and tricks which can make that difference.
Surprisingly enough the method was simple and one I use myself -the grid method. This isn't the only way to approach drawing but this is the way Ray showed us in his workshop. This idea of grid method to drawing/sketch up your image, and blocking in greyscale is a way to approach painting too (See How to Paint a Rose). I may even try my hand at painting the Portrait I did in the workshop. See the step-by-step drawing approach below:
- Grey toned paper
- Charcoal pencils and white
- Paper Stump
- Kneadable Rubber
- Greyscale photo to work from
Step 1: Using the photo provided we grided up our page and chose the main tonal areas to outline
Step 2: Get rid of the grid using the kneadable rubber (be sure to check proportions etc first)
Step 3: Start blocking in the darkest darks and pushing in the charcoal with your finger or paper stump to smooth it out
Step 4: Start adding detail and using the white to highlight -remember to check for accuracy.
Step 5: Final touches and finish. Use your kneadable rubber or a cut off sliver of hard rubber to pick up highlights. Use a sharp white charcoal pencil for fine detail.